Examining The Poem The Crucible English Literature Essay

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In this enthralling story, The Crucible by Arthur Miller, the reader is brought to Puritan-dominated Salem, Massachusetts in the year of 1692. Abigail, the main character of the story, a charming girl who has an endless capacity for lying, is caught having illicit relations with John Proctor, her master by Goody Proctor. Abigail is desperate to win him back, and she performs a voodoo ritual to damn Goody Proctor. Meanwhile, her uncle, Rev. Parris discovers Abigail and a group of girls dancing in the woods, believing that they were establishing contact with the Devil. Little does Abigail know, She and John's forbidden love affair ignites serious controversies that threaten the sake of the town and endangers the life of his wife.

The paranoia of living among witches sweeps across the town, which causes tension in the town and an open chance for anyone to wrongly accuse someone to settle their deep-seated vengeance. Abigail is questioned by her uncle, Rev. Parris, about what exactly she and the others were doing in woods, causing Betty to remain in coma-like state. Abigail dissembles the real motive of what they were doing, and plainly responses that they were just playing sport, and her uncle continues to interrogate her, pressuring Abigail to admit that what he believes is true. Abigail gives him what he had been anticipating for, stating "Not I sir- Tituba and Ruth" (Miller 173) These were the names of the girls who had allegedly started the ritual, when it was actually Abigail. Abigail emphasized her point by stating that she is from Barbados, and she has resumed contact with the devil, because of her former spiritual beliefs. Abigail mostly puts all the blame on Tituba, reporting that, "She comes to me while I sleep; she's always making me dream corruptions."(Miller 187). Abigail switches her role as accused, to accuser, stating her innocence and that she was possessed by Tituba to conciliate with the devil. Tituba was now seen as the main perpetrator of the event and Rev. Hale is put to the job of questioning Tituba to release the evil spirit that is manipulating her to harm others. Tituba candidly recants the accusations placed upon her, and Rev. Hale doesn't believe her because he is expecting her to confess that she was in contact with the devil at the time. He threatens her, stating " You will confess yourself or I will take you out and whip you to your death, Tituba!" (Miller 188). Tituba becomes anxious, and knows that she must lie like Abigail had in order to be acquitted of charges. She falsely confesses that she was indeed summoned by the devil, and reveals who is working for the devil, what his intentions are, and his persuasion to Tituba to kill Rev. Parris. Tituba's convictions are so profound that it gains her a position of authority and safety, using that advantage to ensure that she will not be persecuted. Abigail and Betty follow her example by empowering themselves through their alleged "religious hysteria".

When the life of a loved one is in danger, one goes out of their way to save them which reflects one's true character. Earlier in the story, John Proctor was dissatisfied with his wife. He craved excitement, adventure, and held a strong lust for young women, such as the lovely Abigail Williams. His respect for his wife was not as strongly bound as it should have been. Goody Proctor was a woman of plain taste, she strictly abided by the customs of the Puritan faith and had no complains. When Cheever charged Goody Proctor of possessing Abigail's spirit, John yells in anger "Damn the Deputy Governor! Out of my house!" ( Miller 203) John becomes frustrated with the unruly disorder going on in the town, because of Abigail's alibi which has spread to utter disproportion. He couldn't believe how the town and court had been in favor of the accuser's accusations, causing him to question the divine infallibility of the Salem court system which he had had full trust in. Goody Proctor is taken into custody, and John comes to court to defend her and attempts to relieve her of charges. He comes clean during the court hearing, relieving some private information about the affair he was involved in, and the real situation which hasn't been disclosed to the court. John states, " A man will not cast away his good name. You surely know that." (Miller 220) He told the court that he had an affair with Abigail, and what she has stirred in the town was all out of jealously. John comes to his senses, finally understanding the devotion and love he has for his wife, who had brought him into a life of purity and devotion to God. John supports his claim by adding that statement, which arouses the court's suspicion. When asked about her thought on the matter, Abigail replied, in a indignant tone, how she would never face the court again if she was charged on such account. Goody Proctor is called to the stand to state her stance on the matter, whether her husband truly meant by what he said. She responded, with a faint "No, Sir" (Miller 223) Elizabeth shockingly discredits John's statement, by which reason we suspect because of her resentment and to protect her and her husband's reputation. John is running on low, the court is losing faith in his credibility, and Mary Warren is his only hope to discredit Abigail and call off this whole trial. Mary is under major stress, having her life on the line and the girls frantically acting as if they were being tortured by Mary's malevolent spirit, pressuring Mary Warren to crack. John tells her "God damns liars, Mary" (Miller 225) reminding Mary to be true to herself and save the town from this madness. She is bombarded with the agonizing cries of the girls, Danforth's demands to answer the question, and John's commands to admit the truth. She cracks, and follows her selfishness. She condemns John and accuses him of wrongdoing. She retrieves her innocence, and leaves John as the prime enemy.

Abigail and John's taboo affair stirred up quite the controversy in the town, threatening the order of the Puritan influenced government of Salem and put the life of his beloved wife in danger. Abigail William's affair with her master is ended when Goody Proctor suspects Abigail of promiscuity on John, and quits her from her services. Abigail is eager to win John Proctor, and performs a voodoo ritual which she is caught in the act of performing, and manipulates the crime to her favor, using her cunning charm and alluring beauty to accuse Goody Proctor as the catalyst of the crime. In this story, we learned about the phobia of witches and the great lengths people took to use it as vengeance, defying the real definition of a witch in Puritan-dominated Salem, and the unconditional love we have for our loved ones, and we truly learn to not take for granted when they are no longer there, which gives us a feeling of altruism for others who we do not think often of, the people who have left us with their profound everlasting impressions.